Hyderabad: Telangana’s municipal administration minister, K.T Rama Rao, on 22 May, directed civic officials to fine Erragadda corporator Shaheen Begum and her husband Shareef for attending the inauguration of Basti Dawakhana without face masks, as well as for putting up  banners.

The minister was a chief guest at the inauguration function held in Sultan Nagar, Erragadda. The corporator has been fined Rs. 20,000 while her husband has been asked to pay Rs. 1,000. This is the first time that action has been taken against TRS leaders for violating the lockdown orders.

Earlier in February 2020, the civic body fined Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav, for erecting a huge flexi on the necklace road on the occasion of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s birthday.

There have been reports of several ministers, TRS leaders, and public representatives flouting lockdown guidelines ever since it came into force in the state. There have been incidents of party leaders evading home quarantine and taking part in mass gatherings, organising birthday parties, and attending public functions for charity and COVID-related activities. Videos and photos of such events have gone viral on social media, drawing severe criticism from the public.

Further, the police and other government departments have also come under fire for turning a blind eye. Friday’s incident at Erragadda, therefore, comes as a surprise for many. Sources said if KTR had not noticed the violation then officials would have ignored it as the corporator and her husband belong to TRS and are also close associates of Jubilee Hills MLA Maganti Gopinath.

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